Why choose shampoos without sulfates?
Sodium laureth sulfate, SLES, sulfates, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate… These scientific names all mean the same thing: the sulfates used in hair cosmetics to lather formulas.
What are sulfates?
Sulfates are used as a foaming agent and surfactant, that is to say, they serve to disperse fatty substances in water. They thus help to get rid of the "grime" that one has on the body and the hair by means of a powerful chemical action. However, the catch is that these agents that make the shampoo lather (even organic sometimes!) With which you cheerfully massage your scalp are also present in most cleaning products, dishwashing liquid or even in detergents. News that makes your hair stand on end.
How are sulfates harmful?
If brands have long opted for sulfates, it is because their foaming power defies all competition. This is, for many people, a guarantee of efficiency, and gives the impression of washing the hair gently. The truth is far from this commercial strategy and sulfates like Sodium laureth sulfate (or SLES) can actually be very irritating, drying and allergenic. Generally, shampoos that contain sodium laureth sulfate are also loaded with silicones , an explosive combination that destroys the hair . The silicones serve as shiny sheaths and hide the harmful effects of sulfates which, in the long term, suffocate and make the hair forked.
If their names are strangely similar, Sodium laureth sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate are two very different compounds. Used in shower gels, bath milks, certain mild shampoos and products for sensitive skin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is fully biodegradable and should not be confused with SLES which can be very irritating.
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